We left Case' Key on Florida's west coast in patchy fog, which the lightest of breezes only lifted occasionally. As the day wore on, the wind picked up, clearing the skies and lifting up barely enough sea for the Sport Craft 3010 to notice. Waves of 1 to 3 feet barely rocked us once we reached our grouper spot some 12 to 15 miles offshore.
I can remember precious few'boats that didn't perform well in flat, calm water, and the 3010 proved no exception. We had as comfortable and quiet a ride offshore as one could ask for. A'though the boat's only 31 feet long, passengers shifting around abo'rd the 3010 don't affect the trim noticeably, thanks to a very high beam-to-length ratio. It banks into a turn like a jumbo jet but turns quickly when necessary.
The 3010 maneuvered beautifully in the heavy tide running over a coral mount while we were anchoring. It offered inch-by-inch control. Likewise, pulling up to the dock in a 2-knot current proved easy with the Morse electronic controls and'the Sport Craft's propensity for doing what it's told. At the helm station, ergonomics have been attended to a degree of perfection I've rarely seen. What a comfortable place from which to drive.
Sport Craft designed the 3010 to run slightly bow-high with zero tab. According to CEO Ken Hall, "This provides terrific down sea capability." However, it also offers a very wide range of trim tab adjustment. In a head sea, drop the bow, and it cuts into the oncoming waves well. The tabs also display a tenderness that makes small adjustments easy with a simple tap of the switch.
Cruising at 30 mph, the twin Yanmar 300-hp diesels used 18 gph, a far cry from most outboards. I got a top speed of only 38 mph which just isn't fast enough for many, these days. But I ask you: How often do you get to run at that speed on a boat like this anyway? If you need to go like a rocket, that's what you should buy. But you'll never be as comfortable on it as you would be on a Sport Craft 3010.
Once anchored over a great grouper hole, I discovered that even with my girth, walking forward to fish from the bow was comfortable and secure while holding the rod in one hand. Four people fishing in the cockpit at one time seemed totally comfortable.
The executives at Sport Craft are all avid fishermen. Consequently, you'll rarely find a better-equipped fishing boat. Our test boat had plenty of rod holders under gunwales (four rods on each side), in the gunwales (four more) and across the back of the top (another six). The large athwartship fish box contained an optional cold plate, and unlike so many production boats today with their little lockers holding a few removable plastic tackle boxes, the 3010 sports full-fledged lockers with big, deep drawers just like on the big convertibles.
About 'he only thing I'd personally change in and around the cockpit are the rubber sleeves with caps in the rod holders. The cap is always in the way when you want to insert a rod into the holder. Whenever you pull a rod out, the sleeve inevitably comes with it, forcing you to push it back in.
As I said, many wide-body cabin boats such as the 3010 sacrifice performance - especially in a head sea - for space down below. The 3010's sharp entry and sufficient bow flare provide room up where the berth is, but still cut into waves. It's a masterful blend that sacrifices nothing in performance.
Attention to detail extends all the way to the hatch lifts. Open a hatch all the way, and as it starts to settle back, the arm latches. To close, open the hatch all the way again, and when you close it, the cylinder doesn't catch. A very positive lock that at the same time needs no downward pressure to close the hatch the way so many today do.
Sport Craft utilizes advanced HK Research gelcoats and specially blended resins to prevent osmotic blistering. The company encapsulates special Permaboard marine plywood in fiberglass in the stringers and transom for the best possible strength. Consider the balsa coring in the hull above the waterline and in small parts, and you can easily see how Sport Craft can afford to offer a 15-year transferable hull warranty.
Though many traditionalists refuse to own'a boat that isn't white, the colored gelcoats make for a rich, beautiful finish. When you add diesel power, artful joinerwork, numerous standard features frequently considered optional by other companies and the transferable hull warranty, it becomes obvious that Sport Craft offers great bang for the buck.